High-speed Train Crash, 33 Died

I wrote a lot about high-speed train.

Shanghai to Hangzhou Highspeed Train

Faster Bullet Trains in China

Not to mentions the tens of articles on Maglev.

When I dreamed about going to Beijing via high-speed train, and thought highly about the mega-project, the train crash last night which killed 33 people really put me into deep thoughts – another type of thoughts.

(If you are not aware of the accident, see the photos here)

China has been pursuing speed. Faster, the better. It hold true for train speed, car speed, economic growth, accumulation of wealth. The society is just running at top speed with no safety measures. It may crash at any time. Not just train, but the whole society. It is the time to slow down a little bit.

7 thoughts on “High-speed Train Crash, 33 Died

  1. Technically this type of accidents is totally avoidable. The automatic system should be able to prevent it easily. So the accident may indicate serious human factors such as design flaw and mismanagement…

  2. China Ministry of Railways, Shanghai district has issued a statement of the cause of the accident is due to a faulty traffic control light. If this is true, it alarms me. I can’t believe they are relying on traffic control lights for their High Speed Rail system controls.

    As High Speed trains travels at hundreds km/hr on the same track, a system should be installed on broad each train that monitors the speed, direction, and location of the train at all times. And most important of all is that all trains need to “talk” to each other if they are travelling on the same track. As a Control/Automation Engineer, I know this technology is widely available.

  3. One recent article (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/25/world/asia/25train.html) on New York Times quotes a popular Internet message circulated in China:


    please stop your flying pace,

    wait for your people,

    wait for your soul,

    wait for your morality,

    wait for your conscience!

    Don’t let the train run out off track,

    don’t let the bridges collapse,

    don’t let the roads become traps,

    don’t let houses become ruins.

    Walk slowly,

    allowing every life to have freedom and dignity.

    No one should be left behind by our era.

  4. @ILH, there is something more alarming…………… four days after the accident, the High Speed Train resume operation and still using the same traffic control system which now proven defective. only difference is the drivers are asked to be more vigilance.

    The Chinese High Speed Train is actually using Tombstone technology in their fast developing pace.

  5. China Ministry of Railways on Track to Deploy Wonderware SCADA Solution for Passenger Railway Line.

    here is the link; http://global.wonderware.com/EN/Pages/ChinaMinistryofRailwaysonTracktoDeployWonderwareSCADASolutionforPassengerRailwayLine.aspx

    they are using wonderware system platform for Track-Power-Managerment only. However, I believe an automatic collision avoidance system can be created using the same platform. This system should capable of collecting information from each train and redistribution the information to each Train.

  6. You are a software guy, for a software system like the high speed railway system, maybe they need more QA work.

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